Whether or not you have plans to set sail for foreign lands, take your friends and family on an international trip with all the comforts of home with these Around the World party ideas. 

Feature tastes, iconic images, sounds, and even fashion from around the globe for a fun evening celebrating new and novel places.

The Theme

Use a travel theme as a fun way to connect your countries (or cities) and provide cohesiveness to the event. Welcome your guests with a directional wooden sign post with arrows pointing to each of your destinations outside the front entrance.

Decorate the foyer or entry to your Around the World party as a travel agency office with world flags, luggage (with stickers), maps, globes and posters. And, transform your main bar into an airline ticket counter and use food picks featuring the country’s flags to serve appetizers and decorate drinks for each location.

Alternatively, use a cruise theme to visit countries in a particular region, such as a Mediterranean, South American or Caribbean cruise. Use nautical and cruise ship decor for your entry and main bar. 

Actually, you can use any mode of transportation, such as trains for visiting specific cities or hot air balloons in keeping with the original Around the World (in 80 days) concept.

Issue boarding pass-style invitations for each guest decorated with travel or country-specific pictures. As a memorable keepsake, create personalized passport books with room for a photo and entries for each “destination”. 

International sporting events always make for a great excuse to throw an Around The World party, such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics. Whether a viewing party or entertaining in season, encourage and enjoy the friendly camaraderie.

Throwing an Around the World party in honor of an international holiday makes for a fun and distinctive theme for a social gathering. We've included a list of international holidays throughout the year at the end of this post.

The Guest List

You may not be an expert world traveler or be able to spout off fascinating historical facts about far off places, there is a good chance that some of your friends and acquaintances have a relationship with countries outside of America. If not, hosting this kind of party is a great way to network and expand your social group! 

Although it's not necessary to accommodate your guests‘ nationalities and cultures, featuring a country to which they are somehow connected to will enrich the occasion by incorporating their experience. It can open the door to spontaneous conversation and interesting dialogue that will be unique to your event.

The Plan

Incorporate at least three but no more than seven countries, depending on the size of your gathering. This range gives enough variety without making it impossible for guests to “visit” each country. 

One way of organizing the event is to designate rooms or stations for each country featuring culturally-inspired appetizers, drinks, and decor. Print your own posters of iconic architecture or cultural treasures and place them at each station, and incorporate full-size or miniature flags for each country.

Another possibility is to serve hors d’oeuvres and drinks in rounds that correspond with culturally-relevant musical selections mixed-in your playlist, so that everyone can “travel” together. An Around the World dinner party is also a great way to experience food and drinks from different countries with each course.

When decorating for each country or city consider distinctive and unique elements from the area, such as:
  • Attractions, e.g. Taj Mahal (India)
  • Cuisine, e.g. Sushi (Japan)
  • Drinks, e.g. Pimm's (United Kingdom)
  • Sports, e.g. Olympics (Greece)
  • Traditions, Running of the Bulls (Spain)
  • Celebrations, e.g. Carnivale (Brazil)
  • Icons, e.g. Eiffel Tower (France)
  • Music, e.g. Mariachi (Mexico)
  • Nature
    • Animals, e.g. Kangaroo (Australia)
    • Plants, e.g. Bamboo (China)
    • Geography, e.g. Waterfall (Argentina)
  • Famous People, e.g. Leif Erikson (Iceland)
  • Fashion, e.g. Lederhosen (Germany)
  • Industry, e.g. Murano Glass (Italy)
The Dress

In my opinion, an Around the World theme screams costume party, although in truth I would be hard-pressed to think of any party that doesn't have potential for themed accouterments. 

Encourage your guests to wear their favorite travel-inspired costumery (depending on the formality of the occasion), from safari hunter garb, to uniformed flight attendant or airline pilot, to hilariously fashion-immune tourist gear.

International Holidays
Source: www.calendarlabs.com
  • Jan 01 Global Family Day
  • Jan 04 World Braille Day
  • Jan 11 International Thank-You Day
  • Jan 30 World Leprosy Day
  • Feb 12 Darwin Day
  • Feb 21 International Mother Language Day
  • Feb 22 World Thinking Day
  • Mar 01 International Day of the Seal
  • Mar 08 International Women's Day
  • Mar 20 World Frog Day
  • Mar 21 World Down Syndrome Day
  • Mar 22 World Water Day
  • Mar 23 World Meteorological Day
  • Mar 29 Earth Hour
  • Apr 02 International Children’s Book Day
  • Apr 07 World Health Day
  • Apr 12 Yuri's Night
  • Apr 13 International Special Librarian’s Day
  • Apr 21 International Creativity and Innovation Day
  • Apr 22 Earth Day
  • Apr 23 World Book Day
  • Apr 25 World Penguin Day
  • May 03 World Press Freedom Day
  • May 05 International Midwives Day
  • May 08 World Red Cross Day
  • May 10 World Lupus Day
  • May 12 International Nurses Day
  • May 13 IEEE Global Engineering Day
  • May 15 International Day of Families
  • May 18 International Museum Day
  • May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity
  • May 22 International Day for Biological Diversity
  • May 23 World Turtle Day
  • May 24 World Schizophrenia Day
  • May 25 Towel Day
  • May 31 World No-Tobacco Day
  • Jun 08 World Ocean Day
  • Jun 14 World Blood Donor Day
  • Jun 16 International Day of the African Child
  • Jun 17 World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought
  • Jun 20 World Refugee Day
  • Jun 26 International Day Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking
  • Jul 11 World Population Day
  • Jul 16 World Snake Day
  • Aug 08 Universal & International Infinity Day
  • Aug 09 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
  • Aug 10 International Biodiesel Day
  • Aug 12 International Youth Day
  • Aug 13 International Lefthanders Day
  • Aug 14 World Lizard Day
  • Aug 23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade & its Abolition
  • Sep 08 International Literacy Day
  • Sep 13 International Chocolate Day
  • Sep 15 Software Freedom Day
  • Sep 16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
  • Sep 19 Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • Sep 21 World Gratitude Day
  • Sep 22 World Car-Free Day
  • Sep 29 Inventors Day
  • Oct 01 International Music Day
  • Oct 02 World Farm Animals Day
  • Oct 03 World Temperance Day
  • Oct 04 World Animal Day
  • Oct 05 World Teacher's Day
  • Oct 10 World Mental Health Day
  • Oct 16 World Food Day
  • Oct 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • Oct 24 United Nations Day
  • Oct 29 International Internet Day
  • Nov 08 World Town Planning Day
  • Nov 16 International Day for Tolerance
  • Nov 21 World Television Day
  • Nov 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • Nov 30 International Computer Security Day
  • Dec 01 World Aids Day
  • Dec 02 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • Dec 05 International Volunteers Day
  • Dec 07 International Civil Aviation Day
  • Dec 10 Human Rights Day

Send us your Around the World party ideas and international theme photos.